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The 3rd Form Function & Class Mini Web Design Conference

11:48 pm PHT

I posted before that I went to the first Form Function & Class mini-conference last October 30. This was organized by the fledging Philippine Web Designers Organization and they have a whole series of such mini-conferences. I wasn’t able to attend the November mini-conference and so I resolved to attend the January 22 event and to muster enough courage to actually give a talk (and I indicated so at the sign-up sheet, though I had no topic at hand then). Unfortunately, one week before the mini-conference, I still had no topic. After wracking my brain, I settled on giving an introduction to Textpattern, the content management system (CMS) that I’ve used on Vista Pinas and Blogenyo.

 Title slide of my presentation on Textpattern

The vast majority of the self-hosted local bloggers use WordPress as their blogging CMS (as evidenced by the success of last year’s WordCamp Philippines), and so I thought that giving people a peek at an alternative CMS—one that has a cult following among some web designers—would prove educational. It was interesting because one of the other talks during last January’s event was about Concrete5, another CMS—one that is decidedly more flashy than down-to-earth Textpattern.

If you’re interested, you can download my presentation slides from the Form Function & Class server. I did the research and outline two days before the conference and stayed up almost all night on the eve of the conference finalizing the slides. I’m pretty satisfied with my slides given that I did it on such a small time frame. The only problem is that the slides’ text had too little contrast when projected. I kinda expected that, but didn’t anymore adjust the colors since I think it looks nice when viewed on a proper screen.  :-P

 Four slides from my presentation

The talk went well (I think) and I don’t know if I’m lucky or not that I was the last speaker since the audience was too sleepy/tired to throw questions at me (and the speaker before me) after my talk which started at around 11 p.m. that time. Jan Pabellon, the presenter of Concrete5 and the first speaker, was put on the hot seat after his talk and so I did some last minute research on the Web in anticipation of questions for me that never did came. Well, one problem I did have is that I have no idea if my presentation was effective in its aim of introducing Textpattern and whether my delivery was ok.

Anyway, here is the list of the other speakers with links to their presentations:

Kudos to the organizers for setting up such a successful event. There were plenty of attendees, sponsors, food, and interest. I’m already looking forward to the main Form Function & Class conference to be held at the Asian Institute of Management on July 10 later this year. See you there!  :-)

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Comments

Comment times are in Philippine time (+0800).

1

On 12:04 a.m., 5 Feb 2009, ia wrote:

Thank you very much for your talk—-no, it was great. I had nothing to ask but I really have been curious about TXP for the longest time now. Maybe we should hold some sort CMSCamp.  :D

See you at the next mini conferences + the big one!

2

On 3:54 p.m., 5 Feb 2009, Regnard wrote:

Thanks for sharing Eugene!  :D

3

On 2:30 p.m., 6 Feb 2009, Robert wrote:

Eugene, the presentation download link contains em-dashes instead of minusses. Better: http://dump.formfunctionclass.com/mini/2009–0… intro to Textpattern—Eugene Villar.pdf

4

On 5:22 p.m., 6 Feb 2009, Destry Wion wrote:

I’m so happy to see Txp being addressed at a conference. I don’t understand why there’s not more of this when so many other CMS do get in the limelight.

Great presentation design (and inspirational)! That fact you put it together at last minute puts me to shame. I agree with keeping the colors as you did; fifty people show up for the talk, millions see it online thereafter.  :)

Some feedback from the online viewer perspective (if you’re open):

Slide 3:

I would add some other RELEVANT key words to the cloud, which will also make that slide more visually interesting (I think). Not only are the words accurate, but they add a second dimension to the message; crossing site genre with domain of activity. A few words I would suggest: e-commerce, non-profit, government, business.

Slide 5:

Amazing! Glad I found you. I’m a follower now.  :)

Slide 6:

Just above the “Founder of TextDrive” line, I would add Creator of FAVRD

Slides 14/15:

Love how you simply showcased Textile’s syntax and the resulting markup rendering. I would suggest giving more room between the two. If I did not know about Textile, I’d not “see” the full picture. (This is the only slide where I think all the vertical lines are a distraction.)

Slide 23:

TextBook has not been called “TextBook International” for a few months now. It’s currently just called “TextBook,” but its name is changing to “TextBook, the Textpattern CMS User Manual.”

I would also add these newer and very worthwhile projects…

Again, fabulous presentation (visually speaking). Keep up the great work.  :)

P.S. I had no idea the syntax I was using to show URLs would actually render the text labels as links. That’s not Textile, what is it?

5

On 8:16 p.m., 6 Feb 2009, seav wrote:

@ia, thanks for the kind words. See you in the next miniconf!  :-D

@Regnard, you too!

@Robert, ah, that’s a bug of my blog: it converts some hyphens into n-dashes. Fixed the URL now to bypass the bug.  :-P

6

On 8:18 p.m., 6 Feb 2009, seav wrote:

@Destry, wow! thanks for that extensive feedback!  :-)

For the Textile slides, well, I did speak quite a lot of words when I gave this presentation so some of the slides might look weird without that context. I’ll probably create a different rendering of the slides with my “script”.

And yes, the markup is not Textile; it’s my own markup language that is somewhat similar to Markdown and Textile. This blog runs on my own CMS.  :-D

7

On 2:37 a.m., 7 Feb 2009, Jojo Esposa wrote:

Hello Eugene!

Thanks for sharing textpattern with us. I liked it although I’m having difficulty reading your presentation because of color combinations although the slides looked great pala when you view it on PC. Another thing might be because of the time. They even turned off some lights so it became darker. Someone in my back uttered, “mukhang pinapaalis na tayo kasi pinatayan na tayo ng ilaw”. hehehe

Honestly, I’m not a fan of CMS. I hard code all of my designs. However, with the current situation wherein we need to design faster to deliver it on time and packed with features, I need to learn it. You’re right, WordPress has been the CMS of choice because it’s arguably the most popular. I started blogging only last April using the free wordpress.com. Then I decided to go into full time web designing using WP CMS only last December. So I consider myself a beginner in CMS.

I was supposed to ask you a couple of questions after your presentation kaya lang mukhang uwing uwi na yung iba nating kasama. So I’d better ask them here. Hope you won’t mind.  :-)

1. Textpattern and web accessibility concerns, are there any? Most of my colleagues in the international Guild of Accessible Web Designers (www.gawds.org) recommend WordPress because it’s good when it comes to accessibility.

2. User interface, how does textpattern fare when it comes to user’s learning curve? If let’s say a regular rank and file government employee with a very poor IT skill, a constant complainer, an avid advocator of law of least resistance and doesn’t want to add more load to his “work” would become a user. Would you recommend textpattern for him? I’m currently doing a project involving these kinds of people.

Thanks in advance and hope to see you again in the next mini-conference.  :-)

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